Chivalry is something we must teach our children. I don’t know if you have noticed, but chivalry is not something they would pick up watching television. Society makes fun of it on a daily basis. Yet, every human yearns to be treated with chivalry. It is up to us as parents to teach the future generation of doctors, lawyers, judges, police officers, etc., to display chivalry. Recently, I witnessed the effect chivalry has on society by our younger generation.
My family and I were on a vacation in the mountains. We took the day to spend at a water park for a little rest and relaxation from the burning rays of the sun. My daughter suffers from cerebral palsy and must use a wheelchair to get around. That particular day the heat was intense and her spirits were down. You could see her yearning to have legs that could run and carry her to the cool waters.
There was no reason she couldn’t take the chair into the water. The pool actually held no standing water; it had holes in it that allowed water to burst out at any given moment like Old Faithful. She had sat on the sidelines and watched the other small children her age run through the water with smiles on their faces.
After a few hours of persistence, she agreed to just take her chair to the pool. No more than a minute passed before the smiles came and laughter was ringing from her beautiful face. I just stood back and let her push herself through the surges of water. The only problem was that whenever she went over the holes that were to deliver her the cool water she so desired, there was no water. Her wheelchair was over the holes and she wasn’t getting wet. I didn’t know what to do. Here I had all but got on my knees to beg her to be a part of the fun, like all the other kids, and I knew she was on the verge of tears. I never stopped to think it wouldn’t work with her chair.
Before I could step in to help, a small child beat me to it. First, a little girl no more than 3 years old came, then another, until virtually every child came. What us parents witnessed amazed us all. We could do nothing but stand with tears in our eyes. The children, without ever being prompted, took their little hands, put them into the cool, shooting water, and let their palms be filled. They each walked very slowly so they wouldn’t lose their water over to my daughter in her wheelchair. They stood there in the heat and told my daughter to play with the water in their hands. Repeatedly one by one, they took turns gathering her cool water to play in.
We can decide what the future holds. Do we raise children who have no understanding of helping their fellow neighbor or do we take the time out to be examples? Children repeat what they see!
— Andra Barker, Indiana
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